"I am asking students to do uncomfortable or unfamiliar thinking, the least I can do is provide comfortable places to sit."
Would I want to sit in my own area for up to two hours a day?
This question has helped shape what environment I want in my areas. I believe that students will do their best when they are comfortable and able to choose where they sit. In my classes, students have the options of sitting on a couch, a recliner, individual "comfy" chairs, stand/sit at a high table or may choose to sit on the floor or sit in the traditional desks. Student choice will forever be very important to me and allowing students this choice should provide a relaxed and inviting environment.
How can I teach responsibility if I have assigned seats and take away the ways students can practice making responsible decisions? The students need to think about where they will sit based off what work they need to complete. The students need to think about who they need to be sitting by. Some students figure this out very quickly and make the responsible decision. Others need more guidance and learning all the ways that do not work, with the hope on my end that one day soon it will click for them and then we will be off and running!
Giving this opportunity for the students allows for more learning opportunities in soft skills of sharing limited resources and producing work when comfortable. The students amaze me every day how many students can fit on the couch, the record for a three person couch is six, with all of the boys working. The students amaze me with the ability to fit so many on a two person love-seat, four, each doing their own thing.
Where do you need to sit to be successful?
*** I have been told the furniture shown may not be the best for following Fire Code. What I tell my students is "Please, don't come to me with the problem, come to me with the solution of your problem and how you figured it out." I would love